'COACH Pido' has been among the trending topics on Twitter on Friday as news spread that Pido Jarencio is set to return to the University of Santo Tomas Tigers coaching job a decade after leaving his alma mater for the PBA.
The excitement is understandable considering Jarencio remains a popular figure in Espana - a former star player who led the Growling Tigers to their last UAAP championship right in his rookie season as UST coach in 2006.
READ: Hope for Pido return as Bal David steps down
In all he led the school to three finals appearances and six Final Four stints before stepping down in 2013 to take on the GlobalPort [now NorthPort] hot seat in the PBA.
So is he back?
There's no formal agreement yet, insiders said, but all signs indeed point to a Jarencio homecoming at UST. An approach was made by UST school officials and the veteran coach has expressed interest in taking on the job, sources added.
The two camps have agreed to meet soon, hopefully to shake hands on an agreement. The meeting could be held as early as this weekend
Talk of a Jarencio comeback at UST have floated around since last year. But hopes were dashed when no deal was reached in negotiations between school officials and San Miguel Corp., leading the school to appoint Bal David.
However, David's surprise resignation on Thursday touched off a chain of events that led to a UST approach to Jarencio, sources added.
David, another popular UST alumnus, still has a year left in his UST deal and the school was willing to honor that agreement, a source said. But things changed when David suddenly quit due to what another source described as 'internal turmoil.'
Jarencio, fortunately, is available for the position after switching roles with Bonnie Tan to take on the NorthPort team manager's job, which he can retain even if he accepts the UST offer.
But on whether a Jarencio return will come with the full support of San Miguel Corp. and the blessings of SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua remains to be seen.